Publications ‘That very trust is the unifying and unique factor of Anderson MacGyver’

‘That very trust is the unifying and unique factor of Anderson MacGyver’

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When we ask organizations what makes Anderson MacGyver unique, we often hear that the collaboration is seen as particularly pleasant. But who are the companies actually working with? Who are the colleagues making an impact at large organizations we work for internationally? In this series of articles, several colleagues write about their experience with the field, what role they play and what advice they have for future professionals.

This edition focuses on Niek van Vonderen. He has now been working for Anderson MacGyver for 2.5 years and started at the Stockholm office, before returning to the Netherlands and working from IJsselstein. What he found the most enjoyable job so far? “The job that stood out for me was a project with 5 other colleagues from Anderson MacGyver for a player in the automotive industry. There we were asked to put down a Target Operating Model. Entirely as we, Anderson MacGyver, like to do and are good at doing, we had a thoughtful approach, including workshops and design sessions, in order to build the model of the future together with the leadership.”

At some point it became clear that the client’s expectations were somewhat different after all, and so they had to switch gears. “They had no time at all for ‘future fantasy workshops.’ We were called to a halt, and were at a loss for words. Then we met with the team and reflected with the team with a proverbial laugh and a tear. We decided to change course, and implement a hands-on approach. This led to a very desirable outcome with our client and everyone was satisfied.”

“This project stands out for me because it hides a very important lesson,” continues Niek. “Namely; that it is very important to be able to be critical of your own perspective and paradigms at all times with how you look at the world. Sometimes you get stuck in tunnel vision and you are the last one to be aware of that.”

Attention to people
Meanwhile, Niek is on another project, developing a sourcing strategy for an organization in critical infrastructure. “At first sight a rather technical assignment, but I quickly found out that paying attention to people and the undercurrent of change is incredibly important here. After all, this is about outsourcing work that people have done with love and dedication for years. Inevitably there are many emotions and feelings involved. I now experience that when sincere attention is given to these, that is precisely when the tipping points arise so that you can move forward together and achieve technical results.”

The example Niek gives is directly also what he likes best about the consulting profession. “The relationships you build with clients. Because you help them, often side by side, interpret and solve complex problems that they couldn’t figure out on their own. During that process, you are also a confidant to whom, among other things, they can hold their concerns, fears and ideas filterlessly and that creates quite a special bond.”

Own development
By now, Niek has been working for Anderson MacGyver for quite some time and has therefore encountered things he was less aware of at the start of his professional career. “I was not very aware beforehand of the amount of space you were going to have to follow your heart and develop yourself in the direction that suits who you are as a person. I’m a person who challenges the status quo and often brings controversial ideas to the table, and within Anderson MacGyver with a little bit of direction, guidance and the necessary friction, I get all the space I need to put my hands and feet on that. For me, that very trust is the unifying and unique factor of Anderson MacGyver.”

For future professionals, it can be difficult to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. “My advice would be to be guided by what energizes you. After all, those are the signals that show whether you really like something. This is important because if you like something you often become very good at it. If you do not yet know what you really like, then I would say, be curious, listen to podcasts, read books, take initiatives so that you can really discover your own path and interests and get away from ‘the sameness’ that the University produces. I am obviously not against the University, you can learn a lot there, but it is my belief and experience that it adds a lot of value to business to develop your own thinking, because as Einstein very aptly put it: you cannot solve problems with the same thinking that created them.”

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